On This Day In Bruins History: January 1st

( Photo Credit: Adam Glanzman / Getty Images )

By: Amy Tolman | Follow Me On Twitter @amy7594

On January 1, 1954, Frank Zamboni, who was the inventor of the best-known ice surfacing machine for that time, and assistant Robert Skrak demonstrated a very early version of the unit to Boston Garden Arena management. The Bruins ordered one and became the first National Hockey League franchise to use the machine known today as the Zamboni. The machine model was called the Zamboni Model E, factory serial number 21.

In 1954, Skark was at the Boston Garden for the ice show. In which the Bruins had a hockey game that night. Skark took the machine out on the ice and resurfaced it, and the Bruins management was impressed with the results. The only problem with having the machine on hand in the Garden was that they would have to remove seats to have a storage area to the ice surface.

In 1988, the Bruins ordered a new Zamboni and requested that the Model E No. 21 be fully restored by the Zamboni company. When the Zamboni was sent back to the Garden, the Bruins held an on-ice ceremony. The Bruins then sent the machine to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Canada as a part of the historical collection.

In 2010, the Zamboni company made the 500 series of models, which redefined the industry’s standard for emission-free efficiency and performance, which allowed automation whereas before was manual. The 500 series is the world’s most famous ice surface machine used in the NHL arenas today.

Willie O’Ree

( Photo Credit: K.C. Alfred )

Willie O’Ree was the first Black hockey player to play in an NHL game. He debuted with the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens at the Montreal Forum on January 18, 1958.

On January 1, 1961, he was also the first Black hockey player in NHL history to score his first goal. O’Ree’s goal was the game-winner for the Bruins to beat the Philadelphia Flyers. O’Ree finished that season with four goals and ten assists. Unfortunately, the Bruins that year did not play that well and ended their season 15-42-13 for 43 points.

For more great content about Willie O’Ree, read “A Continued Push For Former Bruin Willie O’Ree” by fellow Black N Gold writer Liz Rizzo.

Winter Classics: 2010

12 Winter Classics have been held on January 1st as of 2020. The Boston Bruins have played in three. The first game in 2010 was held in Boston, MA. at Fenway Park is home to the Boston Red Sox. The B’s played against the Philadelphia Flyers in which they won 2-1 in overtime. Mark Recchi tied the game in the final minutes, and in OT, Marco Sturm scored the winning goal.

Both teams referred to their past for jersey inspiration. The Flyers wore a white replica of their 1973-74 home jersey. The Bruins wore a dark yellow and brown uniform that included the “B” from their 1955-57 jerseys.

Winter Classic: 2016

( Photo Credit: NHL / USATSI )

In 2016, the Bruins found themselves in the Winter Classic again at Gillette Stadium, home to the New England Patriots. Hosting this also made them the first team to host the Winter Classic twice. They faced the Montreal Canadiens and unfortunately lost 5-1. A game that Boston Bruins fans do not want to remember.

It was the first time that two of the NHL’s best-known rivalries met each other for the Winter Classic. For the game, the teams used their third jerseys. The B’s jersey was new and featured the team’s original logo from 1924-25. Montreal used their original, which used a logo from the 1920s.

Winter Classic: 2019

( Photo Credit: NAM Y. HUH / AP )

This Winter Classic game played this game at Notre Dame Stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana. Home to the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This time the hosting team was the Chicago Blackhawks. The Bruins defeated the Blackhawks 4-2. The B’s ended that game with an empty netter.

The teams went with the throwback looks from the 1930s. The Bruins wore a modified throwback from that era, and Chicago was paying respect to their franchised’s black and white look from 1934.

That concludes the ending to January’s first day of the month. There might be many other events for the Bruins on the first, but these are the events that Boston fans should remember that happened except that one Winter Classic.

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